An Antioxidant Spicy Seafood Stew with the Superfood Salmon

When the chill is on, there’s nothing like a bowl of soup or hearty stew to warm up your insides. But many stews are typically prepared with a meat base, like a beef or lamb. At our house, we make a lot of seafood stews, loaded with healthy vegetables and delicious seafood. This is one of my favorite recipes, which was created by my son, who cooks dinner for us once a week. It uses the incredibly healthy superfood wild Alaskan salmon as its base.

Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the best sources of fish protein around. One four-ounce serving of wild Alaskan salmon contains 87% of the recommended daily allowance of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, better mood and cognition, protection from cancers, joint protection, and improved macular function.

Studies have shown that wild Alaskan salmon has the least amount of pollutants and has a better ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids than does farmed salmon. A higher ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is believed to cause inflammation in the body, a precursor to cancer.

My son uses a somewhat unique cooking method for the vegetables – he combines them in a pot without any liquid or oil, keeps the heat at medium low, and allows them to cook in their own juices. It works amazingly well when you use vegetables with a higher water content.

Word of caution – we like our stews spicy around here. I had to warn my son after a recent trip to Penzey’s Spices to only use 1 pod of the pepper with 140,000 heat units. His answer? We’ll have to see about that. While those peppers aren’t in this recipe, he does liberally spice this stew with chili powder, paprika, sate (a Thai spice), and other spices. Let your tastebuds determine how much, if any, of the spices you will use.

There are some who do not like the strong taste of wild salmon – farmed salmon has a much milder taste. While I prefer the wild salmon’s taste, it does take some getting used to. The great thing about this stew is the strong taste is masked by a myriad of other flavors, making it an ideal way to get finicky kids (and adults) to eat it.

I like to call this an “antioxidant stew” because of all the wonderfully healthy cancer and inflammation fighters from the salmon and vegetables. Fight those winter germs!

SPICY FISH STEW— Wild Alaskan Salmon (8 to 10 ounces)
— Red Bell Peppers (2)– Two Tomatoes– Green Onions

— Carrots, Cut into Coins

— Celery, several stalks

— 4 small Potatoes, chopped

— A package of Chicken Broth

— Fresh Cilantro

— Chili powder
— Paprika
— Sate
— Garlic powder
— Curry
— CinnamonPROCESS1. Chop onions and add them to large pot under low heat. Dry cook onions, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.

2. Chop the rest of the vegetables and add to pot. Stir frequently.

3. Add contents of 1 package of chicken broth and continue to stir.

4. Throughout this whole process, be sure to add desired amounts of the following: chili pepper; paprika (more of this than anything else); garlic powder; sate; very little cinammon and curry; really anything else to add some depth to the whole matter (An odd thing: a squirt of Sriracha sauce (and nothing more than a squirt) adds some spice, a hint of flavor and doesn’t disrupt the taste — you really can’t taste it if it’s not too much).

5. As you’re doing all that, sloppily cut some potatoes. You’ll want those in there soon after the veggies and broth so they have time to cook and soften.

6. Cover and allow this all to mingle.

7. After about 10-15 minutes (as the veggies soften), cut up the fish into torn pieces. Add this to the whole deal. Stir it up so the fish can get in on all the spice and broth and whatnot. Add more spice if you’re like me and so inclined. Then cover it up and let it sit for a while.

8. Mind the fact that fish continue to cook a few minutes after you take the heat off, so to make sure your fish doesn’t wind up rubbery or burnt, be sure not to leave it all on too long. 10 minutes with the fish in should be fine. After about 5 or 6, stir in some cilantro. This’ll add even more flavor. Cover and let it go.

9. Serve in a bowl, with bread or naan.

(Courtesy of Eric Lutz)
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